“Spring for Susannah” by Catherine Richmond

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I received “Spring for Susannah” from Thomas Nelson’s Book Blogger program called BookSneeze.

All her life, Susannah Underhill had been told or shown that she was not good enough; that she did not deserve attention or compliments from others. Could you imagine living your life that way? Being constantly pushed down and stomped on to the point where you didn’t even know how to grow if you were given the means to do so?

Susannah is left without family or fortune and with no possible suitors, so she turns to her pastor and his wife, whom she trusts. With good intentions in mind for Susannah’s sanity and safety, the pastor sends her off to marry his brother Jesse, an outgoing, “glass half full” homesteader in the middle of North Dakota’s plains. Upon Susannah’s arrival, Jesse is immediately trying his earnest to get Susannah to come out of her shell. She proves herself capable as the wife of a homesteader, but when Jesse tries to show his appreciation for her skills, she recoils and doesn’t know how to handle him: a husband that treats her with dignity and respect? As an equal?

Throughout the book, Jesse and Susannah grow together as man and wife and are faced with the ultimate tests for a married couple. During a time of separation, Jesse and Susannah realize that regardless of how they came together, God has the ability to mold them into the man and woman they were meant to be individually and together.

“Spring for Susannah” is the debut novel for Catherine Richmond. I did really enjoy this book. I wouldn’t have made it through the novel without it being interesting. I did feel that the book was missing something and I’m having a hard time placing what it was. The book definitely emphasized what a married man and woman will do together during the cold winter months on the prairie and there was no doubt of the love that grew between Susannah and Jesse. It was a love that developed first out of duty, but it turned into a desire for each other but I felt that the love between t hem could have developed even further. What I didn’t like was that the characters were separated for the whole last third of the book (until the last page, of course). I didn’t fully understand how Jesse got himself into the mess with the Native Americans and why he couldn’t leave. I had a hard time keeping the characters straight towards the end of the book. The character count tripled in the last third of the book and honestly, it became a little confusing. I would have loved it if the focus stayed on Jesse, Susannah and their marriage more consistently.

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